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Soul Boys Of The Western World

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

This slapdash but endearing doc about the rise, fall and resurrection of 80s pop outfit Spandau Ballet is an inside job, packed with strong archive footage yet lacking anything you'd call truly incisive.

It tells how north London brothers Martin and Gary Kemp along with Tony Hadley, Steve Norman and John Keeble fused a love of soul and punk with an urban grammar school confidence to become one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. The old footage is often great – the boys lounging in the Bahamas or being interviewed by inane journalists at the height of their success ('Do you have thoughts on the Soviet Union?') – and their banter sometimes hits a Spinal Tap-level of unwitting self-parody. 'My goodness, the furthest gig we'd done was Basildon,' one of them says when they land a residency in St Tropez.

The band's slow decline and inevitable battle in the courts are dealt with too swiftly, and the climactic reunion is a bit of a damp squib. Still, ageing fans will appreciate the ample shots of the boys half-naked in their twenties, before the unavoidable arrival of middle-aged spread and a clenched-teeth guest appearance on the Jonathan Ross show.

Written by Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Tuesday 30 September 2014
  • Duration:110 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:George Hencken
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